Kanawha County Commission Approves $ 1 Million for Demolition Efforts | WCHS Network | News • Sports • Business
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The Kanawha County Commission on Thursday approved $ 1 million for a demolition program focused on removing abandoned and dilapidated structures in unincorporated communities.
According to Kanawha County staff, authorities have already identified more than 125 structures that must be demolished due to a threat to public safety.
Commissioner Lance Wheeler said his top priority when he joined the commission was to “clean up” Kanawha County, an urgent issue as the county halted its initiatives during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I knew how important these operations were in previous years to the citizens of Kanawha County and the Kanawha County Commission, and I wanted to do everything possible to restart these programs,” he said. “These are difficult programs.
Wheeler said the structures impact residents of Kanawha County by affecting home values and posing fire and safety hazards.
“When I say run down, I really mean it,” he added. “These structures can fall at any time.
The program will be funded by a state loan and the county coal separation fund.
Kanawha County Commission Chairman Kent Carper has offered to send a letter to municipalities that may not be able to afford demolition efforts without county assistance. Wheeler agreed to sign a letter but noted that there was no guarantee that the county could meet all possible demands in the incorporated areas.